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The bloodstock industry needs to go through a period of adjustment, says Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  


Turnover at Tattersalls drops by 77.3 million

THE Tattersalls 10-day December Sale finished on Thursday with turnover reaching less than half last year's figures after trade mirrored events elsewhere this autumn both in the auction ring and the wider economy.

tattersalls comparative figures: December sale
2008 2,728 2,014 1,275 63 49,901,250 39,138 11,000
2007 3,066 2,531 1,690 66 102,269,400 60,514 20,00

A total of 49,901,250gns, down by 51 per cent on 2007, was spent by buyers on breeding stock, foals and yearlings at the sale, the lowest turnover since 1999. Similarly, the 11,000gns median, 45 per cent down on last year, was the smallest since 1998, while the 39,138gns average dropped by 35 per cent on 2007.

End of year report: Edmond Mahony
Yesterday also marked the end of trading for 2008 for Tattersalls and the Newmarket company's annual turnover dropped by 77.3 million gns to 167.6 million gns.

2008 4,304 167,555,450 38,930
2007 4,988 244,835,900 49,085

"This has been a year of stark contrasts. The Tattersalls year began with record-breaking sales in February and at both the Craven and Guineas Breeze-Up sales despite a sense of disquiet surrounding the economic outlook," said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony.

"The July Sale, although solid, did not match the levels of recent years and as the sheer scale of the economic upheavalsbecame apparent the autumn sales season was approached with a degree of apprehension.

"Fortunately, throughout the 2008 sales season the contribution from our overseas buyers has been outstanding, but the implications of a mismanaged domestic economy have been very evident.

"Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale displayed remarkable resilience, as did the Autumn Horses in Training Sale, but it has been clear over the last two months that the bloodstock industry is anything but immune from the impact of a global economy painfully short of confidence."

He continued: "The industry has experienced a prolonged period of unprecedented growth since the last downturn in the early 1990s with sales turnover at Tattersalls growing by almost six times between 1992 and 2007. The key now is to adjust as quickly as possible to the prevailing market conditions.

"The combined British and Irish foalcrops are at an all time high driven by the sustained growth of recent years and the 2008 sales season has illustrated graphically that the market is unable to absorb the numbers. This is an observation which we made last year and that was after a record-breaking December Sale. The need for adjustment is now rather more pressing, with the impact of the downturn being felt in all sectors of the industry.

"Even in a period of sharp declines it is, however, important to accentuate the positives. It would be fair to say that the 2008 December catalogue lacked the extraordinary strength and depth of 2006 and 2007, but buyers have consistently remarked that quality individuals were still very hard to buy.

"Our vendors have responded swiftly and positively to a challenging time as the market finds a new level and the weaker currency looks set to benefit our multitude of overseas buyers for a while to come.

"The December Sale has, as ever, acted as a magnet for bloodstock professionals from all corners of the world and we are enormously grateful for the support. We will, as ever, work tirelessly to ensure that the industry's confidence in us is repaid and that Tattersalls continues to remain the focal point of the European bloodstock industry for both buyers and vendors alike."




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